Workplace accidents caused by safety lapses and work-related illnesses, for example, through stress or inadequate ergonomic workplace design, lead to individual strains and may negatively affect the motivation of individual employees or teams. They result in sick days that are expensive for the company, reducing productivity. Therefore, the consistent emphasis of our HR policy on being an employer of choice also includes caring for employee health at the workplace. By doing so, we actively support the achievement of the goals of health and well-being (SDG 3) as well as humane working conditions (SDG 8).
Our subsidiary TESIUM bundles our competence in the areas of technology, safety and the environment. It ensures that the highest environmental standards are fulfilled in all business divisions. All our sites worldwide follow obligatory Corporate Guidelines that contain an approach to the safety of systems, the protection of employees and the environment, which have been coordinated with the Executive Board. Because local situations and needs vary, the specific measures to be implemented at the individual sites are guided by on-site systems and working groups.
Issues of health and occupational safety are regulated by our Corporate Guidelines and Code of Conduct at Symrise that apply around the globe. In addition, the collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which was negotiated with the trade union IG BCE (mining, chemical and energy industrial union) and which applies to Symrise in Germany, contains regulations on workplace design and occupational health and safety. The CBA also governs the cooperation between company management, the works council and the union on matters pertaining to protecting the health of our employees.
We have arranged a comprehensive system of measures at all our sites whose written behavioral guidelines offer assistance in identifying possible hazards. The guidelines also regulate how we handle hazardous substances. A complete list of all chemicals used at a particular site, including their corresponding safety data sheets, is provided at each site in the local language. Each production site has its own occupational health and safety committee, which includes both management and other employees. All employees undergo health and safety training courses designed specifically for their given activities. The appropriate first-aid facilities are available in the event of an emergency.
The effectiveness of our measures is regularly evaluated by internal audits based on ISO 19011. Regular external audits by customers, authorities and independent certification companies further verify the constant improvement of our management systems. In addition, we have a monthly reporting system that indicates the status and performance of our occupational safety efforts. The most frequently occurring types of injuries in 2017 were bruises, fractures, irritations, chemical burns, cuts and other superficial wounds. In order to improve worldwide performance in the area of occupational health and safety, the concept of a zero-accident culture was introduced in 2017. Essential components of this program are special workshops on zero-accident culture for upper and midlevel managers as well as management safety visits for the first and second management level of the entire organization. The conduct of training to increase awareness of occupational safety will be integrated as a mandatory personal target agreement for managers beginning in 2018.
Our preventative health measures demonstrate our comprehensive approach to helping employees lead healthier lifestyles. Prior to hiring new employees, we conduct medical examinations at our all our sites worldwide and initiate preventative measures such as vaccinations.
We are committed to regular training and continuing education programs on the topic of health, just as we promote diversity among the workforce and help employees balance their professional and private life. Information about healthy nutrition and healthy sleep patterns or the offering of massages rounds out these preventative measures. Through our worldwide sensitizing and intervention program “symply healthy,” we help our employees take a conscious approach to their health, for example through targeted smoking cessation programs.